COVID19: Pope eager to visit Cyprus post-virus

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Pope Francis discussed the COVID-19 pandemic during a phone conversation in which the leader of the Catholic Church accepted an invitation to visit once the fight was won.

A written statement said the President extended an invitation to the supreme pontiff to visit Cyprus when circumstances allow it.

“The Pontiff said it was his pleasure and obligation to visit as soon as possible a country like Cyprus, which, despite all that has passed, is always hospitable and generous,” the statement said.

Last year, Pope Francis accepted an invitation to visit Cyprus in 2020 and the pontiff’s arrival was expected to coincide with the Republic celebrating 60 years since independence.

The visit would have also marked 10 years since the previous leader of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict, visited the island.

President Anastasiades expressed his gratitude to the Pope for the support the Holy See offers in tackling the social and economic consequences of the pandemic.

He briefed the Pontifex on the situation in Cyprus and how the Orthodox Church is handling the crisis.

President Anastasiades told the Pope that the government has decided to offer €40,000 to the roman catholic community of St Giles in Cyprus and the Caritas organization as a gesture of solidarity and support.  And to signal the friendly ties between Cyprus and the Holy See.

The Pope praised Cyprus for accommodating refugees in large numbers compared to its size.